England v Sri Lanka, T20, The Oval

Gurney gets himself off the mark

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from The Oval

Andrew McGlashan at The Oval

May 20, 2014

Comments: 2 | Text size: A | A

Tillakaratne Dilshan was bowled after a lively start, England v Sri Lanka, T20, The Oval, May 20, 2014
Tillakaratne Dilshan was not a bad first international wicket for Harry Gurney © Getty Images
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First wicket of the day
This was not, as announced over the PA before play, Harry Gurney's international debut but the match against Scotland, reduced to effectively a T20, was an understated way to begin. He also went wicketless in that match so when he beat Tillakaratne Dilshan's outside edge to trim his off stump, with his fourth ball in international T20s, it was his first England wicket and a decent scalp to begin with.

Drop of the day
It was by far a faultless fielding display from England. The most costly error came from Michael Carberry who shelled a simple catch offered by Thisara Perera who had 20 at the time. Slightly in Carberry's defence, Eoin Morgan did not make it easy for him by getting into his line of sight and there appeared a lack of calling. However the drop happened it came from fundamental mistakes.

Not-so-costly drop
Would Sri Lanka have a Carberry moment? Not quite. Ian Bell edged Lasith Malinga to slip only for Lahiru Thirimanne to drop a simple catch, but unlike the impact of Carberry's error Bell was out two balls later when he spooned a lofted drive into the off side.

Over of the day
Perera made the most of his life and, as so often is the case, it came against the bowler who had suffered the drop: Chris Jordan. Given the penultimate over the innings (death bowling is not something that has come easily to Jordan) he was dispatched for 22 and it was inches from being 24 as the final delivery fell marginally short of a six.

Catch of the day
There was also some spectacular fielding on show. None more so than Suranga Lakmal's grab at long-off to remove Eoin Morgan, one of the England players who could have chased down the total. Lakmal, not someone you would class among the most athletic of pace bowlers around the world, made tremendous ground before stretching forward to scoop the catch inches from the ground.

First ball of the day
The opening delivery of England's home season was delivered by Joe Root, who missed the World T20 due to a broken thumb but had previously been used regularly with the new ball, to Dilshan. It was not the most auspicious start as Root sent down a long hop which was pulled over short fine-leg to get Sri Lanka up and running.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Philip_Gnana on (May 21, 2014, 8:53 GMT)

Gurney did deserve that wicket. Getting that movement of the pitch and not giving Dilshan too much room to manouevre paid dividends. Eoin Morgan, what on earth was he doing going for a catch that was not in his area? Seeing Carberry under the ball should have been enough for him to refrain. Morgan even reached out across Carberry. What a mess. Morgan the culprit here and not Carberry. Sorry. Lucky for Thirimanne, that dropped catch did not cost nor did take away his temperament and maturity shown whilst batting. No Mention of Vidanage? This guy is going to be there for Sri Lanka and get quick runs too. Plays the ball very late thus giving him ample time. Threw his wicket in my opinion. Perera, the pinch hitter. Did he not make that drop count? Great power too-deserved a 50. What a mavellous catch by Lakmal. Showed true grit and pushed his limits. Great comitment shown. First ball, a loosener? Come on. It has to be a good ball. Root needs to grow up.

Philip Gnana, Surrey

Posted by Udendra on (May 21, 2014, 5:34 GMT)

Thisara was unfortunate to get out in that fashion, and miss-out on a record 50.

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Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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